Researching this poem, I spent a half hour watching a man on YouTube explain the wonders of the humble oboe. Ode to YouTube might be my next poem. Great tenderness these days, I hope this finds you well <3 <3 <3
If I was an Instrument
I’d be the oboe.
From primordial dawn
it is the seminal strand of orange,
the first nod from a nightingale
before she sets to singing.
A strand of pearls pulled slowly
from a black velvet box.
I like starting things off
but soon lose interest.
The oboe lays the table,
then hangs out in the kitchen
sipping sherry while everyone eats.
It is thoughtful,
not requiring torque from the musician,
no turn of the head
as prescribed by the cocky violin,
even for the flute you must
nearly back out of the driveway.
The folksy guitar
asks for bell bottoms,
the electric for tattoos and an amp.
The hulking piano requires a moving
company, the cello and bass
insist on their own airline seat.
The saxophone demands a hat for tips,
the trumpet a company for taps.
You can straight,
legs open, sternum stretch.
from throat to crotch,
fingers intent over heart strings.
The mouthpiece is like holding a pen
or barrette, a cigarette.
Once made from boxwood, as were bagpipes,
now fashioned from African Blackwood!
46 keys of nickel silver!
Most professionals make their own reeds,
they use two at once!
I like how it comes apart
and is compact like a small rifle.
You could charge into battle holding it,
I would develop lung capacity
like an olympia swimmer,
be able to serenade the rats out of a city,
I think of the fellatio I could offer
all that practice with